For the past few weeks I’ve been hearing from a lot of my parent-friends who have concerns about what school will look like in the fall. In this blog, I’ve been working to address those concerns by talking about Yellow Parachute Academy and how YPA can provide an alternative to waiting to see what the State of Minnesota and each individual school district will decide about school in the fall. My hope is that this information will spark possibilities and ideas for you, your children, and your family moving forward into the decisions that are best for you.

But, first, what is Yellow Parachute Academy?

At Yellow Parachute Academy, we provide a personalized learning experience that helps students connect with who they are, what they enjoy, and how they learn best, in a greater way than they can during a traditional school day. We pride ourselves on providing a learning environment that’s different due to our high-touch interaction between Learning Coach and student, and the inside view to curriculum content and progress that connects students, Learning Coaches, and parents.

What sets Yellow Parachute Academy apart is our smaller learning environment, the time we dedicate during the school day to allow our students to complete their work and homework, and our emphasis on nature and the outdoors. As a result, our students have both greater accountability and greater freedom. We help them create good habits which will translate into a lifetime of skills, shown outwardly by greater confidence and, quite frankly, happiness.

A typical day at Yellow Parachute Academy is very similar to what a traditional school looks like, except instead of getting a live lecture from a teacher, lessons are taught online, through videoconferencing. The added bonus of an online lesson is that students can go back to the recorded class and review or relisten to content at any time.

Students attend daily lectures, called “Class Connects,” in core and elective subjects. Class Connects are 20-45 minutes long, and deliver daily instructional material. Students are required to attend a certain number of Class Connects every week for each of their classes. Other days are optional “help days.” For example, an English class has two Class Connects a week and two help days. Outside of Class Connects and help sessions students work independently, but with coaching and encouragement from Yellow Parachute Academy Learning Coaches to complete their assignments.

Our typical day is 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. There are lots of efficiencies with online learning. For example, learning time is more condensed. This serves to maximize learning time and allows for more unscheduled time during the school day. Because we don’t have every minute of the school day scheduled, our students have time to work on other things outside of academics and spend time exploring outdoors.

If you have any other questions about Yellow Parachute Academy, or want to connect one on one with our Student Connector Jenny McKeand ( to learn more, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We are holding weekly Wednesday morning Zoom calls and will add you to the attendee list. Hope to see you soon!

Be well.

Cara Thorpe
Founder & Visionary
Yellow Parachute Learning Partners